Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Nokia N85 WiFi - "No gateway reply" with Thomson routers (also E71, N79, 5800, ...)

If you have one of the recent Nokia phones (N85, E71, N79, 5800, ...) and a recent Thomson / SpeedTouch / BT Home Hub router you may face the "No gateway reply" problem when using the WLAN. By trial and error, I found that this can be resolved by disabling WMM on the router via CLI. So it seems all of the phone's traffic is being QOSd away. Whose side the problem is on I don't know; they are both WiFi certified for WMM of course. An N95 (which doesn't have WMM support) is unaffected either way. Just thought I'd save someone who may come across this via Google the hours of pain I went through..

Someone actually did find this apparently judging by the comments. To access the CLI you normally use Telnet. Open a command prompt and type "Telnet" (if you changed the default IP... you probably don't need these instructions.) (Note: On Windows Vista you have to install Telnet client first, under Programs and Features in Control Panel). Enter your username and password. (For unbranded routers the default username is Administrator, case sensitive, with a blank password. Things may be different if your router is ISP branded.) Finally run these commands:
:wireless qos config mode=disabled

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Verdict on replacement Seagate ST31500341AS

It will also be going back, for a refund this time. This one hasn't completely died like the other one, but it makes a click every time it powers up (the same type as the other one did repeatedly when it died), and the reallocated sector count is increasing slowly (on ten so far.. ten too many for a 2 week old drive). I didn't bother installing an OS on it this time.

I don't know if the packing/shipping of the retailer has anything it do with it. It came in a very tight air pack thing (the type where you would put the object inside it and inflate it) and that itself was loose in a large box.

I also found out there are two versions of this drive, ST31500341AS and ST31500343AS. More often than not it seems the former has SD1x firmware version whilst the latter has SD3x firmware. Not much info around on the latter model.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

How many bugs do window scrollbars (APIs) have with visual themes enabled?

A never ending amount, evidently. Amusingly they go away if you disable visual themes for the application.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Retrieving data from the dead hard drive

The process I followed is relatively funny really:
1. Unplug hard drive SATA power lead & boot into Windows. Wait until it has finished loading.
2. Connect SATA power lead, copy as many files possible (using Robocopy) before hard drive starts persistently clicking loudly and stops responding (in practice was about 2.3GB worth of files).
3. Remove SATA power lead, wait a little bit until the drive spins down. Then go back to step 2.

That was fun, I can assure you. Handily Robocopy does not recopy files that is already copied sucessfully when you re-run it with the same command, so it was actually very useful.

I also tried formatting the larger partition after I had recovered the files, which of course forces all handles to the partition to be closed. It did about 70GB before it started clicking, which tells me the background things Vista was doing were not helping when I was copying files off the drive. BUT if you have a look around on the internet this drive appears to have issues when running under most other operating systems for some reason (the firmware issues, apparently). Booting a command prompt through the Vista DVD would probably normally be a good option - but I wouldn't have been able to address the >1.1TB part of the drive without loading the new SATA controller driver. It could most likely be done but I just wanted to get my data back ASAP, and I didn't think of this at the time. If my replacement drive goes the same fate I may be trying this method, however.

The most ridiculous thing about this was that I managed to check the S.M.A.R.T. values for the drive whilst I was copying my data from it. And NONE of the values were below their thresholds! It had been through so much clicking at the point, I was expecting something bad, but nope.

Computer woes continued

It seems my suspicions of the nVidia SATA controller driver being bugged were in fact correct. So if you are using the Seagate ST31500341AS or another affected drive (one with enough sectors) on an nVidia chipset, make sure you have the latest SATA controller driver. (It may have been designed like that rather than being a bug, but then it is poor design instead anyway).

As it turns out, it seems my hard drive has let me down afterall. Since today, shortly after logging in to Windows the drive stops responding (well, any app attempting to access the drive does) and emits a continous ticking sound. Nasty. The drive is only two weeks old :/ And, it passes the drive short self test in SeaTools (!) All seems very odd. There are a few similar reports in the reviews on NewEgg, and I've read a few reports that said Seagate themselves have said the SD17 firmware has issues. But the drive was working great up until now so I don't know, I've reluctantly gone for a replacement, so we will see what happens. Some more googling reveals there is in fact a new SD37 firmware. For now, I need to try and get my data off the thing :/